Ideology and Nature

Ideology has a couple definitions, but in this case I would like to emphasize ideology as it pertains to the many beliefs, truths, and values that lay hidden all around us and work to enforce the way of the world. They influence our life styles, and our habits. These ideologies play a role in determining our perspectives and opinions, such as, where our food should come from, and how to view that plot of forest, now under construction, across the street. At first glance, you may think all of these things are very personal to each of us, as individuals, however ideology plays a big role, and when it comes to the environment, there is an internal fight within our society, as a human race, against one of the many current active ideologies; The belief that we can continue to grow despite the limits of our planet and even the limits of our ability to withstand the pressure of such growth.


In this materialistic capitalist society, our time is being stripped away in an attempt to increase production, and as population density in cities continue to grow, many communities become high-strung and stressed. The common goal is happiness, a good life, but our priorities are twisted. There is another belief that material wealth creates this happiness. This belief , paired with the ideology of our ability to continue growing without any ecological or sociological limit, puts the natural world on the back burner in the eyes of many. It is the way things are. Most institutions are run with this in mind because our society is such that they will likely fail if they don’t. Sustainable businesses are expensive, take more effort, and in many areas, the demand for products from such a business is not as high as that of their unsustainable counterparts.


This ideological view, like others, is a message repeatedly pushed onto us through many institutions like media, technology, and most advertisements. For example, in many commercials, the subject is viewed as being happy when using the product. Furthermore, the subject will also have other things, like a fancy suit, a nice watch, and a beautiful modern house with a view of a distant mountain range set behind a cityscape. (Refer to this car commercial, which quite literally advertises “stuff” while ignoring any impacts on nature) The human necessity for a connection to nature is rarely advertised directly. The often times, the closest example you can find, will be scenes of nature used to get your attention as opposed to showing how it should be an intrinsic part of our daily lives.


Below is an audio clip of speaker, writer, film maker, and activist John De Graaf who shares a similar view of this ideology.

(John De Graaf,

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